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Our Biological Clock: How We Can “Beat” it with Fertility Preservation

Egg banking: The low down.

Egg banking. Just the phrase sounds mysterious. How does this work? What does it mean? There are numerous questions surrounding this topic and phrase.

As part of our empowerment campaign for BINTO, we want to get you the facts you need to understand the egg banking process: the benefits, the pitfalls and the current scientific technologies.

Deciding when, and how, to start a family is a personal choice. It’s a decision that is unique to you.  Egg banking offers some women the chance to make a fertility and family building plan for the future.  We like to think of egg banking/freezing as a type of insurance policy.

How does this work?

Egg banking is the process by which, with the supervision of a fertility specialist, a woman takes hormones (stimulating agents) to grow a group of eggs (found in the ovaries). Once the eggs are deemed matured (anywhere from an 8-14 day process) she will undergo an egg retrieval.  This is a surgical procedure where a fertility specialist removes the mature eggs from the ovary via a vaginal procedure. Once the eggs are removed, they are passed of to an embryologist in the lab who freezes the eggs.

When should someone consider egg banking?

Egg banking is pretty much the best option we have right now to give some women the chance of starting a family (with her own eggs) a little later in life. Mother nature is cruel.

Many women and men, in todays word, hold off on starting their families till later in life. The average age of first pregnancy is 26.3.  That is up statistically significantly from from 24.9 fifteen years ago (CDC.gov)! With men and women focusing on careers and planning for pregnancy later in life, we’ve seen a rise in fertility services.

If you know you might want to have your own child someday, but you aren’t quite ready to have a baby, egg banking is an option for you. Age is critical when it comes to fertility and family planning. Most fertility specialists and OBGYNs recommend egg banking around the age of 32-34.  For women, fertility starts declining slightly around age 27 with a steep fall off at age 34. Although you might consider egg banking in your twenties, it is still good to wait and see what happens before moving to this option.

Who do I talk to about this?

Start engaging in open conversations about your sex life, marital status, and family planning timeline with your health provider. It’s OK to have a timeline, and it’s also OK to not want to have a family. Either way, let your provider know your feelings so that they might help you create a plan.  If you decide you’re ready to take the next step, and consider egg banking a serious option, seek out the help of a Reproductive Endocrinologist. These are fertility experts and specialists.

Find a specialist in our area that specializes in egg banking practices. You want to find someone who is open, honest, safe and that has success in the egg banking field.

What are the benefits? What are the pitfalls?

Like most things in life, egg freezing comes with pros and cons. Let’s make it a list:

Pros of Egg Banking:

  • It’s like having an insurance policy.
  • Peace of mind.
  • A plan B
  • Fertility options

Cons of Egg Banking:

  • Money, money, money, moooney! Not everyone has insurance coverage for egg freezing, and some IVF cycles can cost over $10,000.
  • You may never use your eggs.
  • You might not get a large amount out of one cycle, meaning you have to do another one.
  • Shots, time commitment, and a minor surgical procedure.
  • Scientists are still working towards better pregnancy rates using frozen eggs.

At the end of the day, the option is yours to make. Only you can decide if the pros out-way the cons and vice versa. At least now you have some helpful tips to make this decision a little bit easier.

 

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